When a show lasts as long as The Big Bang Theory has, some of its best stories are the stories around the show that helped it become what it is. For example, could you imagine a different actor in any of the major roles on the show? It’s almost laughable to think about it now, but it could have happened if not for a different vision. We’re counting down ten of the best secrets from the set of The Big Bang Theory about the show itself and the actors who have made Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment the place where we all want to spend our evenings as our favorite scientists waste another night playing Call of Duty and chowing down on Chinese food.
10. The Sheldon Situation
Penny’s been a part of the show from day one, right? Wrong. Check out slide No. 9!
9. The Penny-Free Postulate
Where would the show be without Penny? Well, it would probably be where the pilot was when the show first got started. Kaley Cuoco was still working on Charmed and 8 Simple Rules when the first pilot was created, and Amanda Walsh was in the role of Katie, who had a much harder edge to her than the much more effervescent Penny. Audiences thought Katie was too nasty, and she was dropped. Walsh did make it to CBS, though, for an appearance as Dawn on Two and a Half Men.
8. The Octogenarian Originator
One of the more interesting parts of television shows is where character names come from. In the case of Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter, it was an homage to a favorite of the writers, actor and writer Sheldon Leonard. Ironically, the real Sheldon Leonard was kind of the exact opposite of Sheldon and Leonard in his roles, as he usually played the tough gangster characters that were common in the 1940’s.
Take a look at No. 7 to see what one country tried to do with Sheldon and Leonard!
7. The Belarusian Collusion
It’s common for shows to be a variation of a show that originates in another country, similar to how The Office was an Americanized version of the British show of the same name. A direct knock-off, however, is still highly illegal. That’s what happened in Belarus, as a television station owned by the Belarusian government created an exact duplicate of The Big Bang Theory for Belarusian audiences. Luckily, integrity won out when the cast in Belarus found out what they were doing and quit the show.
6. The Bialik Betokening
When a show knows it’s going to go a certain direction, that allows it to open itself up with Easter eggs for the fans. The Big Bang Theory ran with this in Season 1 when Raj mentions “the girl from Blossom” as having become a neuroscientist… which Mayim Bialik actually did, earning her Ph. D. Two years later, the girl from Blossom was a permanent fixture on the show as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler. Well-played, writers.
See which cast member’s television habits are nothing like their character’s in No. 5!
5. The Parsons Perplexity
Sheldon Cooper could probably quote everything Mr. Spock has ever said on Star Trek, even down to Leonard Nimoy’s two autobiographies. Jim Parsons? Not so much. The actor has never seen an episode of either Star Trek or Doctor Who, making it all the more impressive that he seems to know both shows cold and all the more unlikely that Sheldon would have anything to say to him if they ever met in real life.
4. The Cat Complaint
The show was on one end of copyright law in Belarus, but “Soft Kitty” brought it to the other end when Edith Newlin’s children brought a lawsuit against the show for unauthorized use of the song. In 2017, however, the suit was dismissed for lack of a valid copyright. It’s not the first time the show’s used an idea without permission… although Sam Kass gave his blessing to its use of “Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock” when he found out, earning a shout-out from the show.
See which legendary director was once part of The Big Bang Theory’s pilot in slide No. 3!
3. The Director Disarray
Did you know that James Burrows was originally involved with the creation of The Big Bang Theory? He helped create the now-rejected and still never publicly released pilot with Katie, a pilot where the only popular characters were Leonard and Sheldon. It’s not like Burrows is known for failures, however; he’s the man behind legendary hits Cheers and Friends. This was just a rare swing and miss for him.
2. The Baranski Brilliance
Christine Baranski doesn’t show up often as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, but when she does, her performances are pretty memorable. She’s made 11 appearances total on the show, and she’s garnered four Emmy nominations for best guest actress for her role as Leonard’s cold, uncaring mother. She’s earned recognition from the fans, too. Despite seven years as Diane Lockhart on The Good Wife, she gets recognized most for being Leonard’s mother.
Find out how Kaley Cuoco hid an injury from everyone in season 4 by checking out slide No. 1!
1. The Cuoco Camera Conundrum
Camera tricks are a time-honored part of working around the actors’ real-life situations. In Season 4, Kaley Cuoco broke her leg in a horseback riding incident, and with no reason in the show for Penny to suffer such an accident, the writers worked around the situation by having her become a bartender. This gave a convenient excuse for her to stand behind a counter, keeping her leg cleverly hidden at all times!
What do you think of our list? Was there a secret in there that we missed that you were searching for? Let us know and like and share this post with your friends!